Annexation Showdown

Is anyone watching (or attending) the Carrboro Board of Aldermen's public hearing tonight? They are expected to have a large number of people speaking about the proposed annexation of their northern transition area.

Please post reports on the meeting or your own comments here.

Issues: 

Total votes: 288

Comments

Mark,

Now your boldest assertion is that you are confident what word she was about to speak but didn't. I confronted her right there by telling her not to finish her sentence (which I predicted was going to end quite differently, though still offensively). She actually respected my request.

You can read your comments for yourself. You write that she disparaged Nelson's sexuality and that I promptly thanked her for her support. That is utterly false.

To all readers,

My two-year-old is about to wake up. I will not be able to attend to this flame for many hours.

Signed,

I apologize for the unfortunate choice of words. But "flaming" is in fact the term for provocative internet emails or postings and the like. Jeff

It is unfortunate that one speaker out of forty five had to reveal his limited understanding of the world.

But what is more unfortunate is that Mike Nelson has preferred to focus on one speaker's ignorance, than the thoughtful comments of forty four other speakers. Like George Bush, this is a typical tactic to switch people's attention from the issue, which is, the philosophy of the Carrboro leadership to treat people like property, which is all this annexation process is. Indeed I find this equally appaling to the remarks made by the one speaker noted above.

I won't even touch Chilton's ridiculous statements - they do not merit the time, or further thought.

For all the window dressing that the Carrboro leadership likes to display about being progressive, they act no differently than those in the current Bush administration: they embrace only those who embrace them. Extremist to both extents.

Obviously too much power has been given to children, and it is time for the GA to intervene. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is no check or balance to the current annexation laws to protect the victims of involuntary annexation. That must change, and let Carrboro be the example for the rest of the State.

I don't know the OWASA details--but what I heard last night is that connection is optional. However, there was also mention of growing problems with septic systems currently being experienced by residents in one neighborhood (Rogers Road I think). It sounded to me like connection may not be a choice for those individuals too much longer. But the decision to require connection about be about public health rather than as part of annexation. Besides the septic problems, the residents continued raising the water/sewer issue because of parity with town residents. If they are to be annexed, they feel they should have the same services as do town residents. However, under the current plan, they would not have city water/sewer without significant financial cost. Nor will they have bus lines coming into their neighborhoods, the police and fire services would not be equivalent to what they currently have, and they don't want the street lights.

I find it fascinating that those who are so willing to fight for the rights of some are so willing to vehemently dismiss this issue.

"maybe it was"??
It was! But as I said, to your credit, you immediately came to me and distanced yourself from the comment. I encourage you to re-read my comments. I don't believe you shared those beliefs then nor do I believe you hold those beliefs now -- my disappointment was that you didn't confront her at the time.

Dear Ruby Sinreich,

Mark K has besmirched my character on this thread by presenting falsehoods as facts. I respectfully request that you remove his posting.

Signed,
Jeffrey W. Vanke

Mark K.,

I clearly remember that incident, and your mis-remembering of it and hence your vilification of me by implication are utterly offensive and wrong and worse.

The woman in question, whom I do not know, was on the verge of cussing out Nelson, by calling him some expletive. I stopped her before she said the expletive. I thought she was going to call him an “a—–e.”

And I was surprised when you stated right afterwards that you thought she was about to call him something deregatory related to his sexuality. I didn't see it going there. Maybe it was. But she DID NOT FINISH THE SENTENCE, Mark.

And what I told you in the conversation right afterwards, is what I posted on OP about a week ago. Initially on the campaign trail, people told me they opposed having a homosexual mayor. I told them I disagreed. No way, Mark, was I going to win votes by people thinking I supported that kind of bigotry. They got the message, and seem to have spread it, because I never heard a derogatory word about the mayor's sexuality again for the last two months of campaigning.

You're a lawyer, Mark. Take better care what you say of others. I'm printing this one out. I am livid.

Has anyone addressed the claim that each household will have to pay $40,000 to connect to OWASA? Is this required for everyone to do, or is it a new option they can choose if they like?

Oops--" individuals living (not leaving) in areas A and B." Freudian mistype...

Annexation, schmannexation…Oh to be a cannibal…
http://www.chapelhillnews.com/news/story/2045754p-8430103c.html

Not that I'm losing any sleep over this, but I've been wondering about Winmore—that elusive development that makes tonight's vote possible. When will Kovens break ground? What is happening with approval of that ill-conceived, unnecessary bridge over the creek?

Also, it seems like all the trolls (I hope I am only a homunculus), are being driven away from this multi-blog. Is it just slow news or is this forum becoming sterile?

Mark K--I didn't hear anything about aesthetic values (art) while I was there. I did hear about environmental values, appreciation of the stars, especially, and that issue that both Alderman and Council members seem to care so much about--affordability.

I have to agree with those who spoke about the disconnect between Carrboro's expressed values--walkable communities, high density, urban environments--and those of the individuals leaving in areas A and B. I'm pretty sure they would be happy if the aldermen followed Ruby's suggestion and banned them from Carrboro. That's one of their points--they don't want to be part of Carrboro. They get their services and have a stronger affinity to Chapel Hill (who I supposed by default they think value suburban lifestyles).

Last night didn't change my feeing that there are two important issues in this discussion. First, does annexation make sense for *everyone* involved. I feel there is a huge disconnect in Carrboro's need for new tax generation and determining whether this is a move that adds value to the lives of the human beings being impacted, or rather those that are going to pay vs those who will benefit from their payment. Carrboro didn't make the sale and knowing they hadn't made the sale, they went in last night and repeated the same failed spiel. There was no attempt to respond to the concerns and anger expressed by residents at previous meetings. To me, that failure reinforced the image speakers painted of Carrboro as conqueror rather than the easy-going, open-minded community they've tried to create for themselves.

Second, does splitting neighborhoods have any significant impact on the quality of lives of the individuals. Speaking from my personal experience of living in a split neighborhood, I can say that for the most part it is unnoticable. BUT....when something comes up it is a huge issue. I predict the differences in approaches between Chapel Hill and Carrboro, especially around water and sewer connections, storm water management, and zoning regulations, will be antithetical to the feeling of 'neighborhood' among Rogers Road residents. Small neighborhoods can do a lot for themselves in terms of governance, socializing, and policing. I do not understand why anyone would want to take away that sense of community.

I see after entering my comment that Mike Nelson heard it differently, and he might be right.

Please believe me when I say that I have heard explicit anti-homosexual remarks in Carrboro, and this was not the same thing. If I missed something, I apologize.

I did not hear the remark Mike refers to but I feel that I am on pretty safe ground in asserting that one value that Carrboro and Chapel Hill hold in common is a rejection of homophobia and all that it entails. I believe that all nine Council-members and all seven Aldermen would be repulsed by any argument that included a homophobic reference.

Mark K.,

I know exactly which speaker you're talking about, though I don't know his name. It sounded like he was not reading a prepared text.

I think his point was that Carrboro is selective in which values to promote, not that he opposes those values per se. He specifically named Carrboro's interest in diversity of sexual orientation, among a few other Carrboro values he listed (that's not a quote, but a paraphrase, but he was clearly talking about homosexuality). I listened very carefully to see where he was going with that.

He neither rejected nor endorsed those values. I honestly couldn't determine his attitude on diverse sexual identities, and there was not enough even unreliable subjective evidence in tone, etc., for me to hazard a guess, even in the privacy of my own brain.

Instead, he said there were other values that Carrboro seemed not to care about, like his version of nature-loving, the value of the nature and starry nights in his neighborhood as it now stands.

That's how I heard it. I was alert to the possibility of offensive remarks after the way he prefaced his assessment of values. A more careful examination of the audio recording would provide a more definitive, possibly different or possibly similar, account to this one, and I would absolutely differ to a written transcript over my summary here.

Indeed, Mary, we do know not to take things personally. I have to concur, though, with Joe C's comments: “If a speaker is really trying to change the aldermen's collective mind, he shouldn't insult them first.”

It might make the speaker feel better, but what good does it do to call the decision-makers hypocrites, cowards, shake-down artists, hijackers and the like? Isn't it counter-productive to insult the very decision-makers you are trying to persuade?

But none of that really bothered me; it's part of the job, as Mary says. But what did bother was the audience's reaction to a homophobic remark made by one of the last speakers.

I wasn't surprised or even offended by the remark itself. This was not the first time during the course of the annexation discussion that an allusion was made to my sexual orientation or to the Carrboro community's strong value of acceptance of gay Americans. As a gay man who has lived in the South for 41 years, I have gotten used to that kind of rhetoric.

What did bother me, though, was the audience's reaction. The audience applauded the gentlemen after he completed his statement. In all fairness, they were applauding the entirety of his statement, not just the homophobic comment. However, if a speaker had made the same comment about Carrboro's support of African-Americans or Mexicans or Haitians or Jews, would the audience have applauded? Would they have remained silent? I doubt it.

I wonder how many people at the public hearing didn't even notice the homophobic comment? How many people wondered how their lesbian and gay neighbors would feel hearing trash like that? And, yes, there are gay people in the annexation area.

Several people around town have commented on the “values” theme that has been expressed by some residents of this area. Speakers at Chapel Hill's meeting last week indicated they wanted to be annexed to Chapel Hill because that community better reflects their “values.” I personally believe Chapel Hill holds roughly the same political, ethical and human values Carrboro does. But ya can't help but wonder is this empty rhetoric or is Chapel Hill inadvertantly doing something that makes folks think that town has more conservative tendencies.

Mike,
Did I say something that makes you think I am homophobic?
I can assure you that I am not and that I regularly give money to organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center.
I wasn't at the meeting last night, but my understanding is that any lifestyle values talked about were in reference to walkable communities, not sexual orientation.
When I've spoken of lifestyle values in relation to Carrboro's Vision 2020, I assure you that I am talking about walkable communities.
Is there a better word for me to use other than ‘lifestyle'? I can see how that word might be a red flag for some.
Also, I believe that we should all try to exercise as much ‘integrity with our word' as we are capable of. Unfortunately, most, including myself, are hopelessly undisciplined.
Apologies.

Jeff,
I know you've heard such remarks. In fact I was present on one such occasion just last year at a Carrboro polling site. You may recall the incident. Someone came up to you and made hostile bigoted remark about your opponent when she was describing why she was voting for you instead of him. After the remark was made and the person who made it had left, you quickly came up to me and clearly stated that you neither solicited the comment nor endorsed it. That was nice to know. I also noted at the time that your statement to me stood in stark contrast to the "thank you for your vote and support" response that you gave to the declarant; a response that failed to disclose that you did not endorse or appreciate the expression of such opinions. I'm glad you're usually alert and are able identify bigoted comments, maybe one day you'll be able to directly confront people who make them even when you want their vote.

There is a guest column in the Chapel Hill News today on this topic by Sharon Cook: Annexation plan doesn't make sense

I wasn't there, but could someone confirm for me whether or not omments were made about Carrboro values that protect certain groups of people. I understand that comments were made stating that some in the annexation areas don't want to share these values. I also understand that the comments were greeted with cheers and applause.

I hesitate to be more precise with my question or my opinion before I have further confirmation.

I feel bad for the folks who don't want to be annexed. It is ashamed when you choose a location you are happy with, and then to feel as though the government is "intruding" on you. There may indeed come a time when those neighborhoods see a benefit to being annexed. Seems as though right now, they don't see a benefit.

Bottom line, the Aldermen are going to have to make an appropriate decision. I fear that the primary reason for the annexation is to increase the tax base for Carrboro, versus serving those neighborhoods better. Personnally, I feel that there is already too much of a dependence by the towns on tax revenues raised on the backs of residential property holders.

I don't think (as Ruby suggests) that Carrboro should get mad and "take its marbles and go home." The attitude expressed by Ruby is not any more helpful than the frustrations heard by those speaking out against annexation.

I think Ruby asked a good question---will residents be required to hook up to OWASA or is it an option? I think that's a HUGE question that needs to be clarified in these talks.

How many other municipalities have an organization like OWASA providing water/sewer for the community? I don't think I've ever encountered such high hook up costs in other areas.

Ruby,
You are funny.
I'll tell you a dirty secret. I used to own a home in Carrboro back when I was single. It was a good time in my life…
I don't really hate Carrboro.
Maybe I lack some integrity taking cheap shots at Carrboro… But can you see how a person might feel just a little oppressed at Weaver Street? Have you never had the urge to just sit down and start picking your nose when you are there?
OK, maybe not…
I'll tell you another secret. This morning, I'm actually starting to feel like maybe I am a part of Carrboro. The passion and emotion of last night brings back fond memories of my youth in Carrboro… (Or was it because you were threatening to ban me that I started feeling soft?)
Honestly, Ruby, would you really want to ban Ken Rudo (last night's winner of the hyperbole award), from Carrboro? Isn't he the stuff art is made of?
I can see that it is all going to come back to this argument: because I live so close to town I should be paying city taxes. If we use that argument, let's be fair and annex every single property in the CHCCSD all at once. Can anyone explain to me why only we have been singled out for annexation?

On to Terri's post, the aldermen do have a hard job balancing diverse interests.
But, I tend not to feel sorry for them. Sure, they have to take some heat; but I would argue that they thrive on conflict and are elected officials precisely because it feeds their need to be in the middle of things. There are many other ways to serve the public that don't require such strong psychological boundaries. I hope the aldermen have learned not to take things personally.

Ruby, the attraction to Southhern Orange Co is the schools, schools, schools which is paid for by my Orange County, State, Federal, and Special School district Tax, not Carrboro's municipal tax. Why do you think property values are so high here? The beautiful seashore? The mountain vistas? The Century Center? The same homes can be purchased in Hillsborough, Chatham County, Durham, Raleigh, etc. at a much lower price and with essentially the same access that I have to Weaver Street (i.e. via automobile) but I, and many others like me, are willing to pay a premium for good public schools. I moved from a 1acre lot home to a less than 1/4 acre lot home, can smell the landfill from my front door, have high tension power lines in my back yard, and cannot safely walk my children to school (much less to Carrboro). Those are some of the drawbacks that made my home affordable. None of that will change with annexation; my home will simply become less affordable...maybe we WILL move to Efland.

I have nothing against Carrboro and think it is kind of a quaint and quirky town though I visit it infrequently. But I chose to live in Orange County, not Carrboro (or Chapel Hill for that matter). Hillsborough and Durham are fun towns too; so what? Saying that annexation was always in the plan is disingenuous. When I contacted the Carrboro Planning Office five years ago to ask about annexation plans for my current neighborhood, I was told that Carrboro only annexes neighborhoods that petition to be annexed. In fact, Carrboro hasn't forcibly annexed a neighborhood in nearly 25 years. When did this philosophical shift, more in line with Cary's way of doing business, occur?

I attended the first half of the hearing,
leaving at the break. I had hoped to watch it on TV, but it was not televised.
I would encourage the town of Carrboro
to hold hearings of such wide interest
in a large place where TV is possible,
or to bring TV cameras to the Century
Center.

I agree with Terri that the aldermen are
trying to do a good and honest job for the
citizens of Carrboro. I also appreciate the
analyses of several of the speakers and the
opinions expressed against the annexation
by them. I am disappointed by the type
of speech used by some. For example,
I cannot understand what Ken Rudo was attempting
to accomplish by calling this process a
"gangster-like shakedown", and
equating the new tax revenue to "protection
money". If a speaker is really trying to
change the aldermen's collective mind, he
shouldn't insult them first.

Years ago, when Chapel Hill was designing
the path for the Bolin Creek Greenway,
a group from the Village Green Condominiums were solidly against
the greenway running near their condos.
They unleashed a barrage of insults
at the council, equating our government
to that of the Soviets. Even though my
political forte was and remains
neighborhood protection, I found it
very difficult to sympathize with these
people. I think Mark Chilton was on the
council then, and he may remember
that public hearing.

Efland, represent! I'm just wondering why these folks don't want to live there, in fact. It offers all the same amenities as their neighborhoods (cul-de-sacs, nice folks, trees, I-40 on-ramp), with none of those meddling city folks trying to plan their lives for them.

Finally, someone mentions efland.... but alas in a "who-would-wanna-live-there" context.

Ruby, lots of good folks live in efland...

cheers
nnr

I just came from the hearing. The room was packed, very few empty seats. The first two speakers made the major points and everyone thereafter reiterated those points:
1. The Town's 'benefits' are not benefits perceived by the residents. They are closer to Chapel Hill fire service than Carrboro and the difference in access could mean life and death. They live close enough to the landfill to be able to go there weekly. They can recycle more at the landfill than they can through curbside pickup. The Orange Co sheriff and the Chapel Hill police are frequently seen in their neighborhoods; never seen a Carrboro police cruiser. They use Chapel Hill services.
2. The intent behind the state statute on annexation was for 'mutual' benefit of towns and citizens. No one there tonight with the exception of 1 lady from in-town Carrboro sees this as mutual benefit.
3. This process has created a large group of political activists who will work to take over Carrboro govt if this annexation goes through. Some very firy speeches, reminescent of the Revolutionary War.
4. Many residents will have to sell/move because they won't be able to afford the tax increases.
5. No one wants streetlights--they like to see the stars.
6. The Highlands residents must drive through Chapel Hill to even get to Carrboro. (One of the Alderman didn't know this which created quite a stir.)
7. They feel more affiliation with Chapel Hill (also have Chapel Hill addresses).
8. Carrboro has not planned adequately for this annexation in terms of services. Residents will not get OWASA water and sewer without huge investment (approx $40,000) which will eat up any equity in their homes and the additional cost of which, on top of the tax increases, will certainly cause some homeowners serious financial problems. Chapel Hil on the other hand provides subsidies to help offset the costs. On Rogers Road, one side of the street will pay full price while the other side gets help from Chapel Hill.
9. Alderman were invited to talk with the neighborhood associations instead of making unilateral decisions.
10. There were several threats of lawsuits, requests to state legislators, etc.

Interestingly, of the 20+ speakers I heard, only 4 subdivisions were represented: Highlands, Camden, Fox Run, and Highlands North. Rogers Road residents were referred to by several speakers, but I didn't hear anyone from that area speak.

One more thing. While most speakers were willing to accept the staff financial figures (+$2,000/year tax increase), there was some challenge. One individual claimed that his insurance would go up instead of down because he lives closer to Chapel Hill fire/fire hydrant. One individual calculated that her monthly expenses would increase by at least $350, or roughly the equivalent of her monthly grocery bill.

There was also concern that these areas do not fit with the expressed values of Carrboro--walkable communities, high density. There was special concern about a cut through road between Winmore and Highlands.

Thanks for the early report Terri.
Any sense the aldermen were being swayed? Or was it more like the red light camera hearing--all for show and minds made up already?
Wish I could have been there...

I was so far back I could only catch an occasional glimpse of a couple of the alderman. To be honest, I felt really sorry for them. Over the past year or so we've seen a couple of similar type hearings in Chapel Hill and each time my heart goes out to these individuals who are working their butts off for the citizens of these two towns. These are good people who are trying to do the right thing by juggling the needs of many different constituents. I don't agree with their position on annexation, but I don't feel they deserve the vitriol poured out by some of the speakers. On the other hand, I really appreciated the strength of emotion and the turn of speech from other citizens. The message was loud and clear. How the aldermen handle this should be fascinating to watch. (said as someone who is not under threat of annexation)

Terri, you can drive down Rogers, turn right on Homestead and enter Carrboro and then go further into Carrboro via either Stratford Drive or Hillsborough Road - all without entering Chapel Hill.

I pointed that out because you and others are falling victim to the trick of repetitious falsehoods becoming "truths."

That has nothing to do with the annexation issue.

Yeah but Mark, the quickest way into downtown Carrboro from those neighborhoods is down Seawell School Rd.

Your insistence that they wouldn't have to drive through Chapel Hill, would be like telling me that from my house near Smith Level-Hwy 54, I don't have to drive through downtown Carrboro to get to Wilson Park, because there are more circuitous routes. Or that from here to NYC by car, I can avoid DC by driving through the middle of Pennsylvania.

So yes, theoretically it's possible to drive from Rogers Road to downtown Carrboro all within Carrboro's planning area. But no one would do it, including police responding to Rogers Road from downtown Carrboro.

All of the Aldermen & Mayor listened very attentively and cordially. (Alex was absent for urgent family reasons.) But I did not exactly see them turning to each other and saying, you know, they're right, to answer the question about impact (unknown).

Mark,
Technically you are wrong. You cannot turn right from Rogers onto Homestead and avoid Chapel Hill. Check the map, the section of Homestead in front of my house is in Chapel Hill; so you must go through Chapel Hill ever so briefly...
And don't you think the speed bumps on Stratford were put there to keep me out...
You're right though, it doesn't matter...

I think the Board of Aldermen should pass a resolution stating that these "neighborhoods" can never be annexed into Carrboro no matter how much they ask. Ban them from the Farmer's Market, the Century Center, and the town's wireless network. Also, erect traffic barriers to keep them from driving on Carrboro's roads (who do you think pays for those?), and release them from the city school system so they can get the lower taxes they seem to so desperately desire.

What I don't get is what are all these people doing there if they don't share the community's values? Why don't they live in Efland? What is so appealing about southern Orange County and do they think it got that way by accident?

Carrboro has been very thoughtful in planning these developments before most of these protesters even lived there. A large part of what is so appealing about this area is that growth has planned here much better than most other communities. The town also has to plan for police, transportation, planning, parks and other town services as a result of these people - whether they consider themselves 'in town' or not.

But, as I've said before, if I was Carrboro I wouldn't want such a bunch of people like this voting in my municipal elections. That's their best argument against annexation I've heard so far. Maybe they could petition Cary to annex them...

No, Mary, you didnt say anything that made me think you are homophobic. I apologize if I awkwardly made my point and confused you. That was not my intent. In fact, I was largely agreeing with your point that public officials have to 'grin and bear it.'

My remarks about the homophobic comments were related to a statement made by someone else.

As to your question about the word "lifesyle," that is actually not a good word to use. Not because it is offensive, but because it just isn't very accurate. One's sexual orientation isn't a lifestyle, it's an inherited trait. The kind of beer you drink, the kind of clothes you wear, the car you drive, where you shop, the kind of people you hang out with---that's your lifestyle. My lifestyle as a 41 year-old college-educated urban gay man is very different from that of a 65 year-old black gay farmer in Mississippi. Our orientations may be the same, but our lifestyles are completely different.

Again, so if you thought I was slamming you. I wasn't intending to all.

As to the very good question about OWASA hook ups. No, no one would be required to or forced to hook up to OWASA. That would be a decision for each household to make when and if they decide it is in their best interest.

I think Superior Court would be a better avenue than the General Assembly. I am not a lawyer, but reading GS 160A-4A it is full of reasons why we could appeal this. It refers to the "safety" of the residents- we are going to be worse off there, based on distances. Their plan shall "Provide for extending police protection, fire protection," etc "on substantially the same basis and in the same manner as such services are provided within the rest of the municipality prior to annexation" . I think they are also stretching the intent of providing water and sewer- it says they need to extend "major trunk water mains and sewer outfall lines INTO (emphasis added) the area to be annexed". They are going to run a line to the edge of Fox Meadows, quite different I think.

There are also numerous provisions for remedy if services are not provided. I would encourage everyone to read the statute, available online at http://www.ncleg.net/Statutes/GeneralStatutes/HTML/ByChapter/Chapter_160...

It is clear to me that the intent, if not the letter, is to provide us with equivalent services, and I don't see it happening.

Cheers.

Naturally, no one will be compelled to hook up to OWASA.

Eventually (like years and years from now) some people may find that they will have little other option if their septic system fails and they do not have a way to repair it. This is not certain to happen.

But it did happen many times in Chapel Hill through the 1990's in areas that became a part of Chapel Hill 20 and 30+ years before (Mt. Bolus Road for example). It has also happened in the watershed out at Shannon Drive and surrounding area.

Septic system failure is a serious problem (and one that is currently facing a couple of houses just West of town on 54), but it has little to do with annexation (except in that the Town of Carrboro is proposing to bring sewer mains to the general vicinity of Area B - not that close to a number of homeowners we might note).

If you ever have to go from septic to OWASA sewers (no matter where you are) it will not be cheap. The impact fees are in the the thousands and the sewer lateral, sewer main extension (if needed) and associated ditch digging and pipe laying can be costly indeed. How much it costs really depends on how far the main has to be extended (very expensive) and how far the lateral has to run (not as expensive).

Yup--a flame war IS what we have going here. Honestly--I expect better of y'all. This isn't FARK for crying out loud.

"Did too!"

"Did NOT!"

"Well, I THOUGHT she was going to say--"

"NO--she was going to say--"

(As if anyone KNOWS what another person is going to say.)

Exactly HOW is this helpful? Though, to be honest, I can understand why Jeff is defending himself, instead of ignoring the accusations. We all saw what ignoring unfounded accusations got John Kerry.

Is this OP's version ofthe Swift Boat Veterans? (How's THAT for some rhetorical hyperbole?)

Mark Gill wrote: I won't even touch Chilton's ridiculous statements - they do not merit the time, or further thought.

My ridiculous statements? About Homestead Road?

Mr. Nelson--you missed the point again. Mary WASN'T referring to homosexuality as a "lifestyle." She was referring to WALKABLE COMMUNITIES and the like--
"I wasn't at the meeting last night, but my understanding is that any lifestyle values talked about were in reference to walkable communities, not sexual orientation.
When I've spoken of lifestyle values in relation to Carrboro's Vision 2020, I assure you that I am talking about walkable communities.
Is there a better word for me to use other than ‘lifestyle'? "

You MISSED her point.

Go read her comment again.

yeesh.

Thanks, Mel.
Nevertheless, Mike, I completely concur that gay is not a lifestyle.
Back to a previous post, I asked why are we being targeted for annexation now. I wonder, are there other neighborhoods Carrboro can legally annex now too? If so, why aren't they being targeted?

Dear Jeffrey W. Vanke,

I wasn't there, so I can't resolve your he-said/he-said fight. Your recollections of the facts seem to differ, and you have every opporuntity to present your own version of events. I believe he is presenting what he believes to be the truth, and it is not against the rules to be wrong.

If you need to work this out with Mark K., feel free to do so in another venue and report back on your results. Unless other commenters bring it up, I would suggest that we all move on.

I cannot referee every playground spat here, so y'all are going to have to grow up. Now excuse me while I go look up "besmirch."

Signed,
Ruby Sinreich

PS: Feel free to use the Contact Us link if you actually want to contact us. I do not read every post on every thread. Like you, I have other important responsibilties (like a job, among other things) that take my attention away from these fascinating flame wars.

PPS: Mark G. you need to keep your Mark's straight! I think you were referring to Mark K., not Mark C.

PPPS: What's with the formal letter thing?

No one answered my question: Why has Carrboro's 25 year policy of only annexing neighborhoods which petition to be annexed changed?

Mary--
You're welcome.
Donna--
Because Carrboro needs the revenue.

My remarks are to my old acquaintance Joe Capowski( I miss you in elected office Joe!!) and Mike Nelson, and to any alderman with a moment or two to listen to my words. As Joe already knows, I was not trying to change anyone's minds with my heated comments last night. Listening to Mike Nelson and Mark chilton's comments on this email line, they are speaking as if they have already made up their minds, which is why my comments were so heated. I knew they had already made up their minds. I simply wanted them to understand my disgust with what I do consider legal stealing and a flagrant misuse of annexation laws to annex communities that universally do not want to be annexed and to do so in a hostile manner against their wishes. This is not mutually beneficial, when you offer nothing that we do not already have. This is the truth, no stretching involved. You are simply making us pay around $2000/year more for services we already have, and in the case of fire and police service, you are offering a poorer service, at least for some time after annexation, which actually ( and this is not a truth stretcher either) may increase our risk from a health and safety standpoint. If you cannot understand this, or you try to deny this, then I can only shake my head in amazement and truly believe that your desire to annex us blinds you to accepting what will come to be from a health and safety standpoint and a standpoint of having nothing new service wise to offer. You are taking from us and we are really not getting any benefit back, and may get a reverse effect of increased safety and health risks. Listen to this community. We spoke. To do this against our desires is immoral, unethical and does constitute legal stealing. Cary annexes in this kind of hostile manner, I would think better of you two to do something like this. I have nothing to apologize for in my comments, but Mark and Mike need to apologize to our communities for this hostile takeover. Oh, by the way Mike. Do not get off on the subject of values and what people say in order to deflect what we were there to talk about, annexation. You are right. The comment the last speaker made was not appropriate. But try to focus on the issue at hand, which you obviously have made up your mind on. You may have felt, as did Joe, that my comments were inflammatory and not designed to change minds. But if you actually listened to my words, you would understand that this is legal larceny, that towns and cities all over this land generally do not take over communities in this kind of hostile manner. The alderman were also extremely disrespectful by not introducing themselves to 150 people, most of whom have never met them. And, based on Chilton's comments, you are not very familiar with our communities either. How can you, against the wishes of 99-100% of the people in these communities justify this? You will cause many of us to move( probably for certain you will wish I move) because we cannot afford $2000/ year of additional taxes for services that we already have. Come and visit with us before you vote to annex. See the damage you may cause. The number of people you may uproot for no other reason than to get our tax money. The financial hardship you may cause which does not need to happen. I work for the state. My wife works for the university. We are not rich and $2000 extra a year will really hurt us financially, and numerous other homeowners in these communities. You may really hurt people although I can see, from your comments on this line that that is not something you are thinking about. Come to our houses. See us before you make a decision. We will be nice ( even me ). We will welcome you into our homes ( even I will). After you do this, you may actually change your minds about this annexation( I can dream, I guess). I invite you formally to see Betty and I. The Kramers and other of my neighbors in Highlands North invite you, Mike, Mark Chilton and any of the alderman who want to venture into our far reaching lands. Give me a call at 942-8249 or at work at 715-6430 and let me know if you are serious people who are trying to reach a good, ethical and moral decision or are what I alluded to in my comments at the hearing last night. I hope you as mayor and the other alderman will prove my comments wrong and make me apologize( I would love to be able to eat my words of last night). I am afraid however, that you will prove my comments of last night true in essence based on your comments on this email line. Prove me wrong. Nothing would please me and my neighbors more. Take a chance. Be standup representatives. Come see us. Sincerely, Ken Rudo

‘My Dinner with Ken', starring Ken Rudo and Mike Nelson…a fundraiser for the ArtCenter? I'm really starting to believe that I do belong in Carrboro.

Guys, I don't think even Ted Vaden is going to come out for annexation at this time, (but I feel certain that in his next Op-Ed piece he will chastise me harshly for my Carrboro bashing).

My sometimes petty concerns aside, the Rogers Rd. problem is a serious dilemma. At this point, I firmly believe the best course is to form an interjurisdictional task force (county, both towns), to study the many human and geographic problems associated with the current jurisdictional line.

Make that 'human, environmental, and geographic'...
When is the next joint meeting...April?
Do I have to wait that long to make a formal request?

John -

A lawsuit is in the works, and Carrboro leadership understands exactly what I mean. But this time, they won't be able to have the power and money of a developer by their side, as they did with Winmore, to crush voices of opposition in appeal.

Rightfully, Carrboro will become the poster child for abuse of annexation priviledges for all of the GA to see.

Further, it is obvious that we have long memories when it comes to injustice, as Winmore clearly shows, and paraphrasing what Brian Voyce said at Tuesday night's hearing, "with these acts, Carrboro political leadership is seeking voluntary annexation into the political graveyard."

Indeed much change is needed for Carrboro leadership to make it a city which truly respects and embraces all people, instead of embracing those that embrace them.

With the increase in voter registration and turnout from the last election, it is obvious that citizens take sersiously infringements of their right to pursuit of personal freedoms. Indeed we do not have to wait to become citizens to effect political change in Carrboro in 2005, and we will do just that.

Regards,

Mark

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